How Muslims Built the World’s Largest Economy in Mughal India

Economics Contributor
Badshahi Mosque
Photo 31284251 © Smandy |

The history of Muslims is one that is full of tales of inspiration and acts of outstanding achievements by the followers of Islam. There was a time when Muslims built what was regarded as the largest economy on the planet. This is the unforgettable story of Mughal India. Also called the Mogul Empire or simply Gurkani, it was an empire that controlled much of what is now South Asia in the period that spanned the 16th and the 19th centuries. A product of vibrant military expeditions, the empire employed peaceful moves at the peak of its power.

Administration and Taxation

Guided by the ethics and principles of Islam, the rulers of the Mughal Empire did not use force to suppress the cultures of the people that it wielded its authority over. The Muslim rulers instead decided to focus on equality and innovative strategies of administration. This way, the Mughal Empire set records for well-controlled and standardized administration. Now, at this point, one may wonder how Mughal India became the largest economy on the planet at that time.

The bulk of the wealth of the empire was sourced from taxes from the agriculture sector. This technique was used to a great deal by the emperor of the third Mughal dynasty in the person of Akbar. These taxes were administered in such a way that it was easy for the peasant farmers to pay but it did not stop there. The taxation system was also done in a way that made it very easy for the farmers to expand their ventures and even dabble into other businesses too. The taxation policies were designed to be as friendly to the masses as possible. Hence, there were no oppressive tax policies.

Social Stability

Apart from economic success, the Muslims in charge of the Mughal Empire were also able to maintain social stability and peace in their regions. Of course, one of the factors that promoted economic prosperity was the presence of peace and tranquility. Around that time, the empire kept growing and more traders from Europe patronized the empire. There was an increase in the demand for raw and processed products and this continued until Mughal India became the largest economy in the world.

More wealth for the empire meant higher standards of living among the masses and elites of the Mughal Empire. The increase in fortune allowed the rulers of the Mughal Empire to also invest in other areas of knowledge like arts, architecture, painting, textiles, and so on. The rule of the Muslim rulers of the Mughal Empire is so long-lasting that till today that their works are still visible. These include the legendary Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Lahore Fort, Shalamar Gardens and so many others too numerous to mention.

The essence of this story is that Muslims can achieve whatever they set their minds upon with the help of Almighty Allah (SWT). As we look upon the rule of the Muslim leaders of the Mughal Empire, we are reminded of using power and authority for the benefit of the people. May Almighty Allah bring ease and success into our affairs, aameen.

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